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On how this madness began

I decided to Blog today. Are you excited? I am.

Dear Writers,

Let’s talk. About that thing. You know, that thing those who write have? That bug. That self-destructive intent to imagine. Where did it come from for you, what do you get back?

I ‘came out’ as a writer when I hit 30. Sick of scratching in the shadows on that one killer MS that would never quite be finished. I have flung myself against the sheer mountain of advice and help out there.

And one thing continuously strikes me: how lucky are fledgling writers these days? How did I make it this far? Why do I keep coming back for more?

Of course, I’ve been telling stories my life, evolving from Lego/Sylvanian/Barbie play through to making short animations with my Dad’s monstrosity of a VHS camera. With a family in TV production (My youth was spent running around backstage at BBC Pebble Mill like some sort of production rat) and a friend (a boy) who was into making Doctor Who animations with his Daleks, it was a natural progression.

In fact, due to my brother’s hard work ripping the corrupted mass of JVC tapes into digi-formats, I can even share these monstrous creations with the internet. The only one that still exists took me days to make…and I screwed up, pushing the record button BETWEEN movements. But I wouldn’t do that again. Trial and error. That’s how I learned.

From animations, I turned to comic books. Early teen addictions to Vertigo Comics, particularly Sandman & Preacher, led to me being oh-so-cool and creating a comic book for my GSCE graduation year where, 15 years post graduation, everyone in my class was mysteriously murdered. And had the mystery investigated by Mulder and Scully. Trial and error.

Did I mention I was cool? And not at all creepy and weird?

But by this time, art and video had failed my imagination. I had whole worlds growing in my head. Characters that I couldn’t quite make real with such crude tools.

Pre-GSCE, I think I was around 14, I chased my English teacher down the corridor, waving my first story. Craving feedback for my creation. Hell, if she told me it was awful I could move onto something else. What a relief that would be.

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